Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Autumn Haul

Having just for back from a trip to the Christmas market in Lille in which I spent more money on fabric than Christmas presents, I figure it's time for a haul post!

I started off with a trip to Goldhawk Road on Wednesday, where I got three metres of this beautiful floral fabric, which may become an Anna dress or perhaps another dress.

I also picked up two metres of chambray, destined for another Kelly skirt or maybe a Moss mini (which I scored for 20% off in Grainline Studios Black Friday sale), along with this camo print for another skirt. 

In Lille, one of the first places I headed was the Wazemmes market, after a google for fabric in Lille. I have my priorities! Here was my first chance to put my limited French to good use in buying three metres of a floral red fabric. I was thinking about a Belladone dress for this one, to honour it's French source (despite the fact it's actually a Japanese cotton).

I was in a Christmassy mood, so I picked up two metres of pretty red plaid for a circle skirt for the holiday season! It seems to be already lined which is convenient! 

I accidentally stumbled upon a fabric store with gorgeous fashion fabrics, precut. I chose this adorable bow print corduroy, a metre and a half, with which I'm hoping to squeeze out a skirt. Another Moss maybe?

My favourite purchase was found here as well, three metres of a navy polyester with a gold feather print, that is going to become a pretty fantastic dress, I hope. 

My final craft stop was La Droguerie, an amazing craft shop in the middle of Old Lille. They had beautiful hand crafted yarns, beads, fabric and other notions. I managed to control myself and only picked up a few things. Firstly I chose some adorable bias bindings. I have no idea what I'll use them for but I couldn't resist. I could have bought so many more, they had an incredible variety!

Then I couldn't leave without getting some yarn, my only trouble was deciding! I eventually chose some bulky baby alpaca wool in pink and off-white, for a cowl. Being so soft, I want to use it for something where I'll appreciate it! 

I think I'm going to be on a craft shopping ban for a while after getting all of that, but at least it will keep me busy for the rest of winter! 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

By Hand London Anna dress

Last Saturday I booked in for an Anna dress kick starter class by By Hand London at Anthropologie. If you haven't heard, Anthropologie have started stocking By Hand London patterns, which is an incredibly exciting step towards sewing becoming far more mainstream. 

The class was to introduce us to the pattern and aimed for each of us to create the bodice of the dress, which we.could then finish at home. The price included the fabric, thread and zipper as well as the pattern and a tote bag, which was so reasonable!!

While I'd made a few garments before, I found the class so helpful in teaching all the little things that no one ever mentions, like always cutting out your fabric to the left of the pattern to prevent distortion. It was also nice to have some reassurance that I was doing things right! I found that it really increased my confidence and my dress came together without any real problems.  

During the morning we cut out our patterns and the fabric and made all of the pattern markings. This was the first time I'd ever felt confident in cutting, which is usually where all of my problems begin. 

We then went for lunch together and it was really lovely to get the chance to speak to other sewers and eat a seriously delicious steak sandwich!

After lunch we made up our bodices and some seriously speedy girls managed to almost finish their dresses! 

I managed to finish my bodice and spent the rest of the weekend finishing up my dress, instead of the other important things I was supposed to be doing like chores and showering!

I still don't have an invisible zipper foot, but I don't think my zipper insertion was too bad. I've got one on order now, but I couldn't wait for it to arrive! Hopefully that will be the last time I ever have to insert an invisible zipper using a normal zipper foot!

I LOVE my finished dress. I wasn't too sure about the style, particularly the bust pleats, but as soon as I tried it on I loved it. It's so flattering and I haven't wanted to take it off since I finished it! It's definitely my favourite make so far and I know I'll be making another!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Finished: Kelly Skirt

After months of procrastinating the final stages, I've finally finished my Kelly skirt! (and after months more procrastination, finally blogged it!)

This is a pretty great beginner pattern and I love how versatile it is. I'm already thinking about my next version. 

I chose a red fabric (I assume it's some kind of polyester but I have no idea), since I couldn't find a chambray at my local fabric shop, Fabric Land in Kingston I'm glad I chose something a bit different though, as now I have something a bit more unique for my wardrobe! 

I found the cutting and sewing of this a lot easier than the Meringue skirt because there were a lot fewer pieces and they were rather conveniently rectangular. 

The only part I had a problem with was the buttonholes. I didn't interface my placket out of laziness but this made trying to make the buttonholes impossible. I must have tried for about an hour before a quick google let me know I'd made a big mistake. Picking apart everything to go back and interface the placket was pretty unappealing so I hacked it. I cut little squares of interfacing and stuck them down quite lightly and sewed on my buttonholes, then ripped off the interfacing again. I don't think it worked too badly!

How my skirt sat for months while I sulked about buttonholes
I couldn't fit the waistband under my buttonhole foot though, so I sewed a hook and eye here and sewed the buttons on the top. It's causing some pretty weird gaping though, as you can see below, so I think I'll have to add another hook and eye underneath. 

I can't go the entire post without exclaiming about how much I love the pockets on this skirt! A skirt with pockets! And I even managed to find matching buttons in John Lewis!

I love my new skirt despite my problems and I'm already thinking about getting some chambray to make version two! 

Monday, 6 May 2013

Kelly Skirt

I've been wanting to make the Kelly skirt almost as long as I've been sewing. It's all over the blogosphere and it's gorgeous. Such a great staple pattern that goes with everything. I'm in serious need of some plain skirts, so this is a great cake pattern to fill a gap in my wardrobe.

So as soon as I finished the Meringue skirt from the Colette Sewing Handbook (pictures to come!), I started thinking about this skirt. I bought the pattern today from The Village Haberdashery.

I'm a latecomer to the chambray trend, but I'm suddenly in love with it. I just got a chambray shirt that I have to stop myself wearing every day and a chambray Kelly would be seriously adorable.

I've also been having some serious fun with Photoshop Elements, which I got for my birthday last month! So much of an improvement over Paint Shop Pro 7 which I've probably been using for more than 10 years!

So now I just need to get myself over to Goldhawk Road so I can get myself some fabric! 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Stitch and Craft Show Haul

Last weekend was the Stitch and Craft Show at Olympia. I went with my mum and we both truly took advantage of all the great stuff on offer!

I came home with a pretty good haul!

Two patterns, the adorable Colette Iris shorts and a pattern I've been longing for, the Banksia top from Megan Nielsen, although it is probably a bit over my current skill level!

Some beautiful variegated sock yarn and this lovely bright worsted weight yarn.

A collection of fat quarters! A pretty good collection of florals and animals!

There was a great quilt exhibition too, this was one of my favourites.
And some great knitted objects for the spring flowers theme this year! I love these wellies!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Buttercup Pincushion

I have been absent for way too long from this blog!!! I've been trying to get back into a regular posting schedule though, because I've got loads to talk about!

Back in July, I finally tried out a pattern from With Fabric and Thread, the buttercup pincushion! I'm in love with this pattern and the end product is so adorable!

It's pretty huge, so no more fumbling to try and find a place to fit my pins in. This was my first attempt at using an actual pattern, and there were SO many pieces to cut out. It went incredibly slowly...

Then I realised, on starting the project, how much hand sewing was required. I really don't enjoy having to hand sew.

It's lucky that it ended up so cute, definitely worth the time it took me!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Sorbetto Planning

After buying this cute fabric from IKEA, I thought it would be perfect to try out the free Colette Sorbetto pattern. Not really sure if it's suitable fabric for clothing, but at £3 a metre, it's not really an expensive experiment.

I've been trying out a few different variations on the bias binding/collar in photoshop to see what different styles look like.

Here it is with black binding, which I love. With white binding, it's still quite cute, but it doesn't stand out so much.

I have a peter pan collar addiction, so I thought I'd see what it looks like with one made of the same fabric. It's quite cute, but I'm not really sold. The black collar is much cuter.

The last one is definitely my favourite, but I'll probably be sticking with the original idea of just black binding. Trying to alter a pattern on my very first attempt at garment making is probably a bad idea. I may well change my mind looking at how adorable the peter pan collar looks though!